CTComms sends on average 2 million emails monthly on behalf of over 125 different charities and not for profits.
Feature Article – SEO - a beginner's overview
Build Your Online Presence with CTT Websites
Spotlight On – Computer Aid International
LASA News - How the Suppliers Directory can help you
What's new in CTXchange?
Give As You Live offering a £5 donation for every new shopper!
Technology4Good Awards now open!
Search Engine Optimisation - a beginner's overview
Nobody wants to spend money on advertising. So finding yourself near the top of Google’s results page is a nice, free way of keeping your online marketing budget down. Except that some companies spend hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds per month on optimisation, fighting for these top spots. So what are they up to?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of configuring and marketing your website so that it ranks highly on search engines for your chosen topics and terms.
It’s a huge topic, so this can be only a broad-brush guide. There are mountains of books and websites on the subject, but it’s an area that has constantly evolved, so if you’re looking for something more detailed be sure to stick to recently-published material.
It’s important to appreciate that SEO is part of the marketing function, not something to ‘leave to the techies’.
Other search engines are available, but with more than a 90% share of UK search traffic, Google still dwarfs the others. So we’ll concentrate on this.
When Google looks at each web page, what it needs to know is:
It does the former by analysing words and phrases on the page. Being a computer, it is literal. So if you mention that you are an animal rescue charity, it will know that you are an ‘animal rescue charity’, but not that you are a ‘dog rescue charity’ or a ‘cat rescue charity’.
Good web copywriters are able to make a page of text flow naturally whilst incorporating the phrases that their clients believe will mean most to search engines. Sound SEO copy:
Bad SEO copy can lose the trust of the reader by being so obviously manipulative towards phrases that it loses sight of that fourth bullet point. (“CAT RESCUE. Here at the cat rescue charity our focus is cat rescue, particularly tabby cat rescue, black cat rescue…”)
SEO specialists scan incoming traffic from engines to identify phrases that are providing a good source of visitors, or that could do with a boost in the search rankings. They might set up new pages on the website to focus on particular phrases (“Cat rehoming” for instance).
The techie aspect comes in because Google also notes phrases within the metadata on a web page (e.g. its title, the tags on images, the URL and site structure itself). There are also other behind-the-scenes things that help, such as supplying a site plan to Google to ensure that it indexes your site correctly.
With few exceptions, search engines determine the ‘importance’ of a page by counting how many other sites link to it, and weighting these sites by their own importance. A link from a friends’ website is good; a link from the BBC would be wonderful. So a key aspect of SEO involves actively promoting the idea that people should link to your site, or to a page that you specifically wish to promote. You might:
A small charity might find it intimidating, but a glance through a commercial SEO specialist resource such as www.seomoz.org will demonstrate the detail and sheer volume of work put in by top SEOs to identify phrases, optimise sites and build links. For a start we recommend that you just get your head round the basics! By starting to analyse SEO as it applies to your own site, you can plan how you might grow areas of your charity online.
Worth a Look
Google for Non-Profits (particularly Google Analytics, the tool by which you can identify the source of incoming traffic)
CTT Websites: if you’ve not yet begun, develop an online presence at an affordable price
MS Expression Web: Available on the CTXchange scheme, Microsoft’s powerful web design and development package
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Branch out online with a Charity Website
A website is the easiest way to promote your organisation’s vision, show stakeholders how you are achieving your mission, and potentially grow your donor base through online donations and marketing.
CTT has partnered with Wizz-It, to develop a new charity website offer to the third sector – giving your organisation the opportunity to develop an online presence at an affordable price.
The Wizz-It platform is a fully managed online system which features:
You will also have detailed analytical data of the visitors to your website, so you know exactly how many people are viewing your website, how they found it and even where they are based.
All packages include hosting, domain and email management, telephone support, unlimited email support, and free initial training, with the lowest package starting at £99 per year.
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Spotlight On: Computer Aid International
How do you provide computer and internet access to some of the most isolated communities in the world? Simple! You take a shipping container, fit it out with a floor, ceiling, walls, worktops, and low power consumption virtualisation kits and a server, mount solar panels on the roof and presto – a fully self-contained cyber café that can be taken to parts of the world where electricity doesn’t reach.
The technology itself is quite conventional. But the impact of the ZubaBox is amazing. It can be a classroom, offering the prospect of IT skills and thus improved job prospects. It brings knowledge – for doctors, for entrepreneurs and vital for farmers with little access to weather or crop information, for example. And it provides communication links to remote and rural communities, some many kilometres from the nearest tarmac road.
The concept is the brainchild of Computer Aid International, a charity headquartered in London whose core activity centres on redistributing donated computer hardware to the developing world.
“We offer a professional decommissioning service to organisations, wiping their data and ensuring that they comply with the relevant data protection and environmental legislation,” explains Anja Ffrench, the charity’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Hardware then gets reconditioned and sent to one of over 100 countries. 60% of it goes to education: schools, colleges or universities; the remainder to community organisations or hospitals.”
The ZubaBox concept is fairly new. “We’ve shipped seven so far,” says Anja. “They cost £22,000, and we try to cover this through corporate donations or sponsorship – enabling the beneficiaries to get it for free.” The software that powers the eleven PCs within is provided by Microsoft, as a donation through the CTX scheme. “It was great to get the server software for free,” comments Anja. “We were very happy with this.”
Early days it may be, but the future looks very exciting for the ZubaBox. Even in these straightened times, Anja reports a lot of interest from prospective sponsors who can see the potential in the concept. And with both hardware and software costs being kept to a minimum, the potential is for many more ZubaBoxes to transform access to IT for remote communities across the world.
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard Edition (including Software Assurance and 5 CALs) is currently available to eligible charities through CTXchange for an administration fee of £36 +VAT. (Click here for more information.)
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Are you a charity looking for a technology supplier? Or are you a technology supplier who wants to connect with more charities? Lasa’s Suppliers Directory helps charities find good quality, trusted and carefully vetted technology suppliers.
The Suppliers Directory is a free site offered by Lasa, which works with thousands of charities across the UK each year, helping them use technology to be more effective and effective in straitened times. It’s the sister site to the Knowledgebase , the third sector’s ‘go-to’ site for all technology information.
Lasa is also offering a unique programme of technology events to charities this year, funded by Google. They will share the latest thinking with advice from leading experts in the field. Whether you are a decision maker or charity professional with an interest in technology these events are for you. The next event is a twitterchat on 2 May on online tools for charities.
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What's New in CTXchange?
Norton Internet Security 2012 identifies unsafe and dangerous websites so users avoid them. It also scans all existing files and incoming and outgoing data for viruses, worms, Trojan horses, botnets, rootkits, spyware, adware, and hackers without interrupting the user. A bootable recovery tool creates an emergency disc or flash-memory drive that lets users start and repair badly infected computers.
New in 2012
The 2012 version includes a streamlined interface for running updates and scans and metered bandwidth options to suit the abilities of connected devices.
Norton Internet Security 2012 is available through the CTXchange programme for an admin fee of £4 (+VAT).
To find out whether your organisation is eligible, and for more information about the Donation Programme, visit the CTXchange website.
Remember to check out our product catalogue for other offerings.
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Give As You Live offering £5 for every new shopper!
Get 25 shoppers before 30th June 2012 and receive a £5 donation for every one!
Give as you Live is a web-based product from Everyclick that allows shoppers to turn every pound spent online into a free donation for any UK cause. Thousands of online retailers, offering millions of products, will donate a percentage of each purchase to any cause a shopper selects. It costs the shopper nothing to Give as you Live as the stores donate the money, not the shopper. The shopper can pick from over 220,000 UK causes to donate to and, on average, 2.5% of each purchase can be donated.
Give as you Live works with existing online affiliate programmes and our partner retailers pay a commission on each purchase made through Give as you Live which Everyclick simply redirects a percentage of the commission to any cause the shopper selects.
Give as you Live is a great way in which your supporters can raise funds for you just by shopping online at www.giveasyoulive.com - if you haven’t tried it yourself, please give it a go!
We also provide your charity with all the tools for you to promote Give as you Live to your supporters here. This includes buttons, banners, webpage coding, e-news inserts, emails and social media messaging.
More information about this great offer is available here.
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Technology4Good Awards - enter now!
The UK Technology4Good Awards celebrate the many ways that technology contributes to the greater good in categories such as innovation and community impact, volunteering and fundraising.
CTT is pleased to be the key sponsor for the Innovation Category at this year's Technology4Good Awards, which are open to any individual or an organisation.
The aim of the Innovation Award, is to honour organisations or individuals that are using existing technology in innovative and effective ways to help meet the needs of others. Technology can be used to increase an organisation’s overall efficiency, to reach members of society or to provide a service for a community or specific individuals.
For example, a charity using standard business software to help visually impaired people to pay bills and read their post, or a community organisation helping individuals with disabilities to connect with each other and the wider community through social networking and online communities.
The Technology4Good Awards are free to enter and the deadline for submission is 18th May 2012.
What are you waiting for? Enter your nomination now!
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The latest version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus is an integrated collection of programs, servers, and services designed to work together to enable optimised information work.